How we make decisions
The Council and its Committees
The Full Council
The Council has 48 elected Councillors, three for each of the 16 Wards into which the Borough is divided. Every Councillor represents the interests of all the residents in their Ward including those who did not vote for them, but they also have a duty to take decisions in the best interests of the Borough as a whole.
Councillors are directly accountable to residents for the running of the Council and are each elected by the residents of their ward for a four-year term. The next borough wide elections will take place in May 2022. You can find more information on the Councillors online. You can also find more information on elections online.
All Councillors meet together a number of times each year as the Full Council. The Full Council sets the main budget and policy framework for the Borough, including the Council Tax, agrees changes to the Council's Constitution and appoints the Mayor, who chairs its meetings. You can find out more about the role of the Mayor online.
Full Council meetings are open to the public to attend and are usually held at 7.30pm in the Guildhall. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic meetings are being held virtually and can be viewed on the Council’s YouTube channel.
Committees of the Council
The Council operates a Committee form of governance. This means that most significant decisions are taken by groups of Councillors collectively agreeing to a particular course of action in one of a number of different Committees. The Committees are appointed by the Full Council and their membership reflects the overall political balance on the Council. Day to day decisions on the management of Council services are the responsibility of professional Officers employed by the Council.
The meetings of all of these Committees are open to the public except in the rare instances when confidential information is under discussion. All meetings are being held online during the Covid-19 pandemic and can be viewed on the Council’s YouTube channel.
You can find out more about the different Committees on the following pages.